I am currently waiting. Waiting to miscarry our last hope for another baby. These are the worst kinds of wait. I have experienced them before. The wait for something horrible to happen that one knows is coming, over which you have absolutely no control. But this time, with this wait, there is an extra heaving brick upon my chest. It is heavy. Crushing, really. A sense of finality looms thickly over me. I am not ready to close this chapter. I thought I was. But I am not. And yet, despite my best efforts at wanting to try again, I cannot make it sit right inside of my sad heart. In the seat of my soul is the knowledge that I need to be done. The further we get into this embryo transfer the more this truth resonates with me. For the sake of my health and for the temporal and spiritual welfare of my kiddos, I must be done!
Infertility, like most things under the umbrella of loss, sucks all emotional energy and physical strength from your heart and soul, if you let it. When a transfer fails or a blood draw yields a negative number, when an embryo doesn’t survive a thaw or harmless spotting begins, we Infertiles find ourselves quickly cycling in a cyclone of sadness. The most sane and rational of us find ourselves bouncing from hopeful to hopeless several times a day. Our mental withitness is dulled by inordinate amounts of hormones. Butt shots, stomach shots, blood thinners, infusions, suppositories, catheters, blood draws, ultrasounds, egg retrievals, embryo storage, acupunture. You name it, we’ve done it. And tens of thousands of dollars later (sometimes hundreds) some of us end up with a baby. Some of us don’t. Some of us want to keep going, but simply can’t afford it. Some of us end up with several frozen embryos in cryo-freeze and some of us end up with no viable embryo to transfer…Ever! Some of us decide to adopt, some try a surrogate, and some stay childless. The possible outcomes are never certain and always changing when you’re in the middle of the storm.
I am one of the lucky ones. I realize this. Hannah was a gift to our family. Not because we had more faith than someone else or because we were more worthy. Not because we had a better doctor or paid more money. We just simply had her. At the right time, in the right place. The right amount of magic. A miracle. Because it just was. And if I believe that she is with us because God sent her to us then I have to believe that the rest of the pregnancies failed because of that same will. That same God.
With this final IVF try my body was prepped and ready. Implantation went perfectly. My lining and all hormone levels were great. The fact of the matter is that after 10 years of trying, countless miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, lame Clomid cycles, and then two serious years of IVF treatments, which yielded 20 retrieved eggs, six growing embryos, and lots of drugs, ultrasounds, consults, and more drugs, this last pregnancy was not meant to be, just like all the others. Besides Hannah!
Adam and I KNOW that Hannah is more than a lot of couples who struggle for a bio baby are ever blessed with. So I choose to be grateful. I choose to be graceful. And for a little while I choose to be heart-broken. If there is one thing infertility has taught me, it is how to feel pain and grief with copious amounts of grace and gratitude. I wouldn’t want to bear sadness any other way. And as I adjust to this new idea of never ever trying to have another baby, I give myself permission to be sad sometimes. To second guess my resolve. To cry. And then, as always, to give thanks to above for the abundance of life that is found within the walls of my home.